International healthcare insurance policyholders may be interested to hear that researchers in the US have suggested that have found a key regulator of fat cell development that may provide a target for obesity and diabetes drugs.
According to scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and collaborating institutions, a protein called TLE3 that acts as a dual switch to turn on signals that stimulate fat cell formation and can also turn off those that keep fat cells from developing.
TLE3 works in partnership with a protein that is already the target of several diabetes drugs. It has been plagued by serious side effects.
"There is definitely a need for alternative drug targets," remarked Scripps Research Associate Professor Enrique Saez, one of the leaders of the study.
He added: "Our goal is to understand how fat cells form so that we can develop better treatments for obesity and related disorders."
Carrying too much fat can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.